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The gospel reading in today's daily office is basically what happens when God sides with the outcasts.
Why is this popular preacher associating with "them"?Mark 2:13-22 13 Jesus went out again beside the sea; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. 14 As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him. 15 And as he sat at dinner in Levi's house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples-for there were many who followed him. 16 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
17 When Jesus heard this, he said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners." 18I'm going to go out on a limb and say the sinners actually includes all of us. Especially the scribes of the Pharisees.
Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, "Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?"Why don't you do what they do? Why do you wear low cut shirts and drink wine? (that's me) Other Christians don't do those things.
19 Jesus said to them, "The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.It's not wrong to be happy when you know God is with you. There's an appropriate time (Church season?) for everything.
21 "No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins."Again, appropriateness. There is a time and a place for everything and wisdom is knowing the difference.
There's nothing wrong with being a well behaved person. There's something wrong with treating your church like a museum for saints, though. Because all saints are sinners, and all sinners are potential saints. God doesn't fear the "other". He takes them out to lunch. He calls them to be his disciples. Sometimes they turn it around and become people we name churches after. Sometimes they stay where they are. Sometimes we stay where we are. We stay boxed up and useless, hanging out with people who are just like us, who don't cause trouble. Who don't look different. Who don't act different. Sometimes, we fail to be disciples of Christ.
We're supposed to act like him.